Kafeneion (a spin on “kafenio”, the Greek term for a traditional coffeehouse) is a home-style diner serving harder-to-find Greek classics. Con Christopoulos (City Wine Shop, The European, Degraves Espresso) and Stavros Konis (Salona) opened it partly to show local diners that Greek cuisine is more than souvas and tzatziki. It’s vibrant, unfussy, delicious home-style fare.

The menu might feature fried sweetbreads, spicy cheese croquettes, crusted meatballs pinging with oregano and baked tomato filled with herbed rice. Mains come in small or large sizes and include Greek favourites such as spiced chicken with risoni, braised pork with lemon, and a fish of the day, plus accompaniments such as hand-cut chips, bright salads and crumbly feta blocks. For dessert, try sticky baklava or orange filo cake with misshapen scoops of house-made ice-cream. Supper is a nightly fixture, with Greek soups and other snacks available until late.

Kafeneion is always ready for a party with retro tunes on the stereo and plenty of ouzo, classic cocktails and flowing wines. Ultra-thick traditional Greek coffee is served all day alongside carafes of wines and beer. You’ll also find longnecks of Melbourne Bitter, Christopoulos’s nod to the older Greek generation.

There’s room for up to 100 diners in this narrow space above The European and below Siglo. A dramatic painting of the Columbia Pictures logo presides over well-trodden floorboards, racing green carpet, plush red lounges, wooden ledges lined with wine bottles, and an expansive window framing Parliament House.

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Updated: February 9th, 2024

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